New Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal, speaking for the first time on his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)'s drubbing in the Rajouri Garden by-poll in Delhi, said people were angry at the party and its lawmaker Jarnail Singh for bailing mid-way in his term. The Delhi Chief Minister also said the by-election result would have no bearing on the April 23 civic polls.
- Arvind Kejriwal said Rajouri Garden voters were angry with AAP
- Mr Kejriwal said by-poll result will have no impact on Delhi civic polls
- BJP won the Rajouri Garden by-poll, AAP was placed third
The BJP has wrested Rajouri Garden from AAP, which placed third in the seat that it had won easily in the 2015 assembly election. More humiliatingly, AAP lost its deposit, which means it did not get even one-sixth of the votes. Several party leaders have said people were upset that the AAP lawmaker quit to contest in the recent Punjab election.
"Jarnail had his reasons to go and contest from Punjab but people didn't like it. I got feedback that the people of Rajouri Garden were very, very angry that beech mein chhod ke chalaa gaya (he left mid-way)," Mr Kejriwal told reporters.
Recent elections have just delivered only bad news for AAP.
Just 10 days before the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) election, the party is alarmed by the result that signals a sharp decline in AAP's vote share since its spectacular victory in Delhi in 2015.
The municipal elections are seen as the party's last chance to prove it is still politically relevant, after its poor performance in the Punjab and Goa elections.
Mr Kejriwal said the by-poll results would have no impact on the civic polls.
The by-election was held because Jarnail Singh resigned in January to contest in Punjab. Jarnail Singh went up against former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and lost. AAP came in a poor second in Punjab, suffering a twin blow as it failed to with even a single seat in the other state election it contested - Goa.